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Archive for the ‘gratitude’ Category

Here is this week’s Wednesday’s Hero:

Name: Specialist Marion Pettus III.
Hometown: Cedar Hill, TN
Awarded: Bronze Star
External Links:
DoD story.
Download this hero’s story:
Right click and “Save Target As…” to download.

Please read the acts of this young Army Medic and the others who were awarded medals last September 2007. He is an amazing man. He was helping another unit with a casulty while another IED went off. After that, he continued to help his Sergeant and another medic. All this time, he never even knew he had received a whole in his helmet. Yes, his head was in it at the time. Please read the rest of the story. 😉

I thank God that we are so blessed with men such as these. We all should be grateful. It is because of them that we may walk around and argue politics or whatever we choose. Hey, don’t forget to shake the hand of a Serviceman/woman today, and let them know how grateful you are. It only takes a moment, but it means more than you will ever know to them. Thank you.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest and other sites:

Pet’s Garden Blog: Wednesday Heros: Sgt. Justin R. Whiting, The Virtuous Republic: Undocumented Immigrants, Real Crimes Afternoon Edition, The Random Yak: Seeing Stars, third world county: “I mock you with my monkey pants”, Leaning Straight Up: Bush Derangement in Brattleboro cause blowback as city officials face harassment and scorn, Wolf Pangloss: The Oil Parable Open Trackbacks, The Newt One: The Well Is Dry, and Right Voices: Hardy Har Har: Planned Parenthood Complains That $25/Mo Is Too High For The Pill..Obama Agrees, Thanks to: Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

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1. Woman Honor Thyself: Skyscraper near Ground ZerO.
2. Diary of the Mad Pigeon: Leadership: “The Lost Bomb” Revisited.
3. Right Truth: Truly, America is my favorite slave.

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MND-Baghdad Transfers Authority

Source: CentCom.

20 Dec. 2007
By Sgt. Jason Thompson
4th Infantry Division Public Affairs
.

CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Control of Multinational Division Baghdad changed hands during a ceremony here yesterday [December 19, 2007]. The 1st Cavalry Division will redeploy to Fort Hood, Texas, while 4th Infantry Division takes over operations in the Iraqi capital. Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, commander of Multinational Corps Iraq, presided over the ceremony. He said the battle in Iraq has changed significantly during the last year, and that the success could be directly linked to the 1st Cavalry Division’s efforts in and around Baghdad.

“Significant events are often a result of the right people being in the right place at the right time,” Odierno said. “In the case of Baghdad in 2006 and 2007, the right people were the magnificent men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad and their dedicated Iraqi security force partners.”

Odierno said the soldiers of the “First Team” should be proud of what they accomplished during their tenure in Baghdad. He said the soldiers had a direct, positive impact on the Iraqi people’s day-to-day lives, which is apparent by the increased activity in all the Baghdad markets, traffic on the streets, numerous soccer games played in all the local neighborhoods, and the smiles on the children’s faces.

“The biggest success was the complete, full partnership they formed with their counterparts in the Iraqi army, national police, station police, patrol police and local leaders,” Odierno continued. “Because of their shared concern, genuine care and daily engagement, they earned the trust and confidence of Baghdad’s people. In turn, it sparked a grassroots movement among the millions of residents and empowered them to feel in control of their own destiny.”

The 1st Cavalry Division commander then addressed the audience of Iraqi and coalition leaders, looking back on a year’s worth of successes and sacrifices by his MND-B forces. “Although the cost has been high, and the toll on the lives of our soldiers has been great, our cause was just and noble, and we have prevailed,” Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., said. “We have fought together, side by side, and have won every time. Our soldiers know it, and the enemy knows it. There is not a place in Baghdad where the enemy feels free or a place to call his home,” he said.

Fil then thanked the Iraqi army soldiers and said his team’s success came with a partnership between the Iraqi and coalition forces. “We have done this in partnership. Whatever progress we have made, whatever success we have secured, is a testimony to that partnership and the result of our combined strengths,” he said.

With the colors of his division cased and ready to accompany him home, Fil said his thoughts were focused on the efforts of his soldiers and on the continued success of the 4th Infantry Division. “As always, at the end of a challenging tour, we leave with mixed emotions. It is quite reassuring to know that we are handing the battle over to such a capable division, and that’s the ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ 4th Infantry Division, led by the supreme command team of Maj. Gen. Jeff Hammond and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia,” Fil said, referencing the division’s motto, “Steadfast and Loyal.”

“I’m leaving totally confident that you’ll be able to quickly build and expand upon the efforts and that the Ironhorse soldiers are ready for the tests that lie ahead,” he said.

With the 4th Infantry Division Ironhorse Band accompanying the ceremony, Fil passed on the mantle of Multinational Division Baghdad to Hammond, who uncased his colors and assumed command of the MND-B mission as the division colors changed position in the honor guard procession. “As we, the 4th Infantry Division, return to Baghdad for our third deployment, we truly feel we have two homes. One in Fort Hood, Texas, and our other is clearly here in Baghdad. We look forward to once again serving with our Iraqi brothers.

With obvious pride in the troops of his new command, Hammond closed by thanking the 1st Cavalry Division troops for their great efforts in providing a smooth transition with 4th Infantry Division and took a moment to recognize all the forces that make up Multinational Division Baghdad.

“To Major General Fil and the 1st Cavalry Division, magnificent job. Your ‘Steadfast and Loyal’ efforts have improved security across Baghdad, but more important, I see hope for the future. We must build on this and continue progress. We still face determined enemies who threaten peace and security. There is still much work ahead. Our job, alongside our Iraqi counterparts, is to provide stable security and set conditions for improving life in Baghdad. This we will do as a team,” Hammond said. “It is my honor to represent the men and women of Multinational Division Baghdad.”

Photo – Maj. Gen. Jeffery W. Hammond (left), incoming Multinational Division Baghdad commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. John Gioia, incoming MND-B command sergeant major, uncase the “Ironhorse” colors during the MND-B transfer-of-authority ceremony Dec. 19, 2007, at Camp Liberty, Iraq. Photo by Staff Sgt. Luis Orengo, USA.

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Check out my archives

I’m going to be moving many of my earlier posts over to this site tonight, so have some fun looking around. As I post them, I shall add them here. Does anyone remember Terri Shiavo? That is the first post that I can retrieve from Causes of Interest. It was written there on March 8, 2005, but it was originally posted at My Newz ‘n Ideas. You may notice that I give Causes of Interest the credit. That’s because I was just starting that site, and I want to give credit where credit is due. I almost always cross-posted back to my main site, My Newz ‘n Ideas. That is, before I opened this site. lol.

Have a great Saturday night, and remember our Troops. Say some prayers, send some cards, send a ‘Thank You’, but do something. Please. Let politics go by the wayside when it comes to the men and women are doing all they can to make sure we remain free to do all that we can. God bless them and you.

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In the year 1620…

In the year 1620, the Pilgrims came to America by ship only to find a very harsh and unwelcoming country. The weather was colder than they had ever been exposed to before, and the food was scarce. They almost decided to go back where they came from, but there was ‘a thing’ that stopped them. That ‘thing’ was the Mayflower Compact.

This set forth a government based on the faith and belief in Jesus Christ, our LORD and Saviour. As irony would have it, a communal (communist, anyone?) system was created. No one owned land. No one was to keep whatever they created or harvested. Everything belonged to the government.

During that first winter, only 50 of the 110 people who had set forth had survived the winter. It was a horrible time. There was an Indian man, Squanto, who had been taken to Spain only to be sold to someone in England (where he learned English) who allowed him his freedom to return to his home which by this time had no longer in existence. Imagine. Squanto was enslaved during the time his whole tribe had starved to death, then he returned home at a time when there are people in need of him. You cannot tell me that God’s hand was not upon him and upon the Pilgrims.

When the harvest came at the end of the year, they gave thanks to our LORD. The lie you have been told is that there was plenty of food. There was not. Remember, they were living in a commune. To each according to his need, from each according to their ability. Because of this creed, some people did not work. What they ate that first Thanksgiving was 5 kernels of hard corn. The corn they ate is not like the corn is today.

When the Governor saw this, he decided that this was not the right way to promote God’s will. So he made up his mind to allow the people to own their property and be responsible for it. There was no longer to be the idea of everyone putting everything they made into the same bin as everyone else. The next year’s Thanksgiving, in the year of our LORD 1622, there was an abundance of food! Capitalism had come to America! (And it worked!)

This practice of giving thanks to our LORD, if you will take note, took place in good times and in bad times. The eating together was for the fellowship, but the true meaning of Thanksgiving was to have a public honor and remembrance of God. It was to thank Him for His protection, His Mercy, His Love, His Grace, His Mysteries, His Son Jesus Christ, and so much more.

Do not allow the athiests or anyone else deprive you from this Holy Day. It is, after all, up to your attitude as to whether or not you will enjoy today or not. Just remember, it is a day to honor God, the Giver and Taker of life. The Almighty King, Comforter, Holy Father.

If you happen to feel sad today, I pray for you to receive the Joy that this world does not understand (PHIL 4:2-6). If you feel weak on this day, I pray for you to cry out to the Father, for He will Comfort you (PSALMS 72:12-14). For those of you who feel you have sinned too much to ever be forgiven, I know how you feel. I was there, and it is a LIE! A lie from satan. (ROMANS 6:15-23). I must confess, I have not been reading my Bible. No, I am not going to say, ‘Not like I should have been’, because I know I should have been. I just put it to my side to use passages when I want to do so. Please pray for me to find the courage and strength to do as I want to do, which is to read the Bible, rather than to do as my flesh wants to do. Thank you, and have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

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Posts I’ve trackbacked to at Linkfest: Nuke’s: The Great WKRP Turkey Drop, Three Forces Of Evil: When To Turn On Headlights, Right Truth: Honoring Heroes at the Holidays Tour, Rhymes with Right: Saudi Government Determines Muslims Not Human, Shadowscope: Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!, Pirate’s Cove: Happy Thanksgiving To All!, Global American Discourse: On American Endeavor for Global Democracy, Planck’s Constant: The Art of Cooking the Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey, Leaning Straight Up: Think about it, is this the real cost of Global Warming Alarmism?, Big Dog’s Weblog: Happy Thanksgiving, Dumb Ox Daily News: Well, Goodbye, Dolly! Embryonic Stem Cell ‘Revolution’ Over!, Conservative Cat: Thanksgiving In North Dakota, Day 1, and High Desert Wanderer: Thanksgiving Open House, and a very Happy Thanksgiving to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.

Trackbacks to this post (most recent tb listed first):

  • 3. Stuck On Stupid: Thanksgiving Linkfest 11/21-11/25/2007.
  • 2. Right Truth: China.
  • 1. Global American Discourse: On American Endeavor for Global Democracy.
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    diog: left radial nerve palsy

    i would like to thank everyone for their heart-felt prayers for me, first of all. I was correct. it was a nerve. gee, i hope it wasn’t me! lol. if that doesn’t make sense (and it doesn’t, lol), please don’t worry. they put a cast on my wrist from my fingers all the way to my elbow. just thought i’d let those who were concerned how i am doing. 😉

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    Open Trackback: and they thought they couldd keep me down. lol.

    trackback to this post: http://rosemarysthoughts.com/2007/10/05/diog-left-radial-nerve-palsy/trackback/

    posts i have trackbacked to:

    to find the people who’ve trackbacked to this post, please follow the link above provided for trackbacks to this post.

    Thank you, everyone. I will try to put your post on the front page (at the other site), but don’t hold your breath. my whole arm hurts now! lol.

    p.s. nighty-night…

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    Just in case you were wondering…

    I am going to tell you about the struggles I am having with my left hand. A few days ago, it was working fine. I found myself sleeping at the computer again, and I had lost the feeling in my hand. Well, not actually the feeling because it was tingling, but I could not move my fingers.

    I have had 3 strokes before, so I know the symptoms. It was not stroke related. It is not even related to my fingers, oddly enough. The problem starts with my wrist. I can find pressure points all up and down my arm and even underneath my arm! Crazy how our bodies are connected.

    I’ve still not gone to a doctor, but my fingers seem to be regaining strength. I can actually pick something up now, as long as I don’t have to raise it over my head. I have a suspicious it may be only a slight bit of tendinitis. I’ve been trying to rest my hand by using just one finger. lol.

    The odd thing is I cannot use my thumb. This is also affecting my movements in my wrist as far as peripheral reach. (The area of stretchability or reach.)

    So there’s really no big story here. I’m fine. I’m sure my wrist will be back in action soon. Until then, I have some really cool military stories that I have permission to copy/paste. If you choose to ‘borrow’ any of them, please give the credit to the person(s) who actually wrote the article. You could also be kind enough to let people know where you found it. 😉

    Well, I guess that’s it. Not too much to it, eh? That’s the GOOD news! Have a great day.

    PS. I have reached 3000 hits on my blogger site, but I do not know who to give credit for it. Therefore, I shall give the post the credit, and all who came to visit my blogger site. It is one of my Military sites posts which I have permission to copy/paste their articles, so please give the person who actually wrote the article credit if you chose to ‘borrow’ any of them. Thank you.

    UPDATE: 18. Leaning Straight Up: San Francisco’s Anti Military Disease Spreads to Oakland. A MUST READ, says me. Toll free to the Capitol: 866-340-9281. Do the right thing.

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    I have no idea why I cannot use my left hand. It won’t work (no pun intended. You know, left+work=welfare. I guess ya had be there). That is why I am going to direct you to my hero’s site: “Bill and Bob’s” Excellent Afghan Adventure. He has returned after a mission which took over two months. Please read it, and leave him a comment of comfort. I would love to run all the way over there to comfort him, but somehow I believe I would cause more harm than comfort!

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    For this reason, I choose this post as my Linkfest post of the day. Thank you for understanding.

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    These are the posts I’ve trackbacked to:

    These are the kind people who’ve trackbacked to this post (in case I am unable to write the one finger at a time, you may also find their articles in the comment section. Thank you for understanding):

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    26 Aug 07
    by Multi-National Division-North
    Public Affairs Office
    .

    BAGHDAD – Operation Lightning Hammer concluded Wednesday after a 12-day, large-scale operation to disrupt al-Qaeda and other terrorist elements in the Diyala River Valley, a complex area of villages and palm groves in Iraq’s Diyala province.

    The operation, which involved approximately 16,000 Iraqi and Coalition forces clearing approximately 50 villages, was a key element in Multi-National Corps-Iraq’s overall operation, Phantom Strike; and resulted in 26 al-Qaeda members killed, 37 suspected terrorists detained and the discovery of 10 weapons caches. “The strength and determination of the fighting men and women from the Iraqi and Coalition forces showed great results during Lightning Hammer,” said U.S. Army Col. David W. Sutherland, commander of Coalition forces in Diyala province. “We have continued to diminish their supplies and disable al-Qaeda’s abilities to disrupt the population.”

    Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, partnered with members of the 5th Iraqi Army Division, initiated the operation with a late-night air assault into targeted locations on Aug. 13, and conducted an additional three air-assaults during the course of the operation. Residents of most villages welcomed the security forces, providing tips and intelligence about recent activities in their towns, and were interested in joining the Iraqi Security Forces. Following clearing operations, the Iraqi Army provided medical assistance and humanitarian aid to the local citizens, many of whom said their villages were recently influenced by al-Qaeda.

    More importantly, more than 80 tribal leaders and representatives, some of whom had not spoken in over a year, met Aug. 19 to discuss their grievances and swore on the Quran to unite in their fight against terrorists and become one tribe of Diyala. “As I conducted my battlefield circulation and talked with many of the citizens, they repeatedly thanked our Soldiers, but more importantly, their security forces, for liberating their towns from the terrorists – specifically al-Qaeda,” Sutherland said. “Because their villages have been cleared, the local and central governments will now be able to provide those essential services al-Qaeda destroyed, and the people feel a sense of security they have not known for some time.”

    Throughout the operation, the Task Force Lightning Soldiers also discovered 22 improvised explosive devices, 11 of which were discovered based on tips from a police chief in the river valley, and reduced three house-borne IEDs and six vehicle-borne IEDs, all of which could have been used to harm a large portion of the population or security forces. Additionally, an al-Qaeda command post was discovered in the village of Shadia, and an al-Qaeda medical clinic was located in Qaryat Sunayjiyah.

    The command post, which was surrounded by fighting positions, contained bed space for 20 individuals, supply requests, records of munitions, a list of families supporting the element, a list of al-Qaeda members detained by Coalition forces and other terrorist propaganda. “Although we didn’t find many of the terrorists, the operation proved to be a great success because we disrupted al-Qaeda, causing them to run,” Sutherland continued. “Their fear of facing our forces proves that the terrorists know there is no safe haven for them in Diyala.

    “And though this specific operation is over, our fight is not over,” he continued. “We will continue to aggressively target al-Qaeda, and ultimately, they will be brought to justice.” The results of Lightning Hammer cleared the Diyala River Valley of al-Qaeda and allowed Iraqi and Coalition forces to maintain a permanent presence in Mukeisha, a village in the heart of the river valley area.

    Photo – Spc. Samuel Melendez, Bravo Trop, 5th Battalion, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, patrols a mrash outside of Qubah, a small village in the Diyala province. The patrol was part of Operation Lightning Hammer, a maneuver to flush insurgents from the area. Photo by Sgt. Patrick Lair, 115th MPAD.

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    8 Aug 07
    by Staff Sgt. Cassandra Locke
    380th Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
    .

    SOUTHWEST ASIA (AFPN) – To show their appreciation for other’s efforts and hard work, Airmen from the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing have been volunteering to serve food to the operations personnel at the base’s containerized deployable kitchen.

    Chaplain (Capt.) Kevin Humphrey, 380th AEW chaplain has volunteered to serve food 10 times since he’s been deployed here from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, N.C. “I used to work in food services before coming into the military and understand how difficult a job it is and how thankless, so I like to volunteer to let them know with my words and my actions that I genuinely appreciate what they bring to the fight,” he said.

    The chaplain’s goal is to make the Airmen laugh. He will ask diners if they want “camel spider” or “deep fried dove” for their entree. “It is such a great way to quickly touch base with people and get a real pulse for the morale of the wing. I also enjoy trying to make them laugh and brightening their day.” He said that little things like a smiling face and a bright attitude can have a tremendous impact on someone’s day. Sometimes it seems people get so far removed from the direct mission of the wing; they forget what it is about, the chaplain said.

    “All of us do our jobs to put planes in the air so we can put bombs on target or be the eyes in the sky; however, we forget when we do not venture over to the flightline what the true mission really is and we have a tendency to have a narrow perspective solely focused on what we do and not the mission as a whole,” Chaplain Humphrey said.

    For Staff Sgt. John Geer, 380th AEW chaplain assistant, deployed here from Seymour Johnson, he volunteers because he likes helping people and is concerned about the morale and well-being of the Airmen.

    “This opportunity gave me chance to have fellowship with those I don’t see as often as I would like,” said Sergeant Geer. Prior to being a chaplain’s assistant, he worked on the flightline with the B-52 Stratofortress. “I think it’s important to serve over there because it shows appreciation and improves relations. Sometimes it is hard to get help for yourself with anything that may be going on in your life because you’re concentrating on the mission and using the core value of service before self to stay late, skip meals, and so much more, that when someone can come out to you and lend a helping hand, and an open ear it means a lot,” Sergeant Geer said. The chaplain staff also delivers popsicles on the flightline.

    For Capt. Michelle McKinney, 380th AEW financial management, deployed here from Scott AFB, Ill., volunteering her time keeps her humble. “I think it’s important to understand what some of the other career fields do on a daily basis, especially those that are often taken for granted,” she said. Although Airmen here work long hours every day doing their respective operations and responsibilities, they are also taking the time to serve those who serve — reiterating that Airmen can be wingmen at home and abroad.

    Photo – Brig. Gen. Lawrence Wells, the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing commander, dishes up a meal for a diner Aug. 7 at the containerized deployable kitchen. The general and members of his staff served food at the CDK all week to show their appreciation for the hard work and efforts put in on the operational side of base. Photo by Airman 1st Class Matthew Cook.

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    6 Aug 07
    By Spc. Jeffrey Ledesma
    Headquarters, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
    .

    CAMP LIBERTY, Iraq – Texas-based “Thunderhorse” Soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are pushing projects to improve the quality of life for the residents of northwestern Baghdad.

    During a routine patrol through the streets of the Iraqi capital’s Shula neighborhood Aug. 1, the tan-colored Humvees, manned by Company A’s 2nd “Dirty Deuce” Platoon, made several stops, one at a near-deserted all-boys school and another at an electric substation.

    “We’ll go in there and get a quick assessment and see what we need. If it is something we can handle at the battalion level through surplus funds. We’ll go ahead and start initiating a project,” 1st Lt. Jonathan Gilotti said.

    School’s Out

    On their first stop, the Soldiers set foot into an all-boys primary school. Gilotti, the officer in charge of the information operations campaign, initiated a conversation to find out what the unit could do to help the community. The native of Avon, Conn., said that when he asked about the problems the school needed assistance with, he got a somewhat expected response, similar to all the schools in the area – this is one of seven in their sector.

    “There was very little electricity, water problems, the walls needed slight renovations, more tables and chairs were needed, but nothing too big,” he said. “Things like tables and chairs or a small project like a basic sewage problem we could usually handle that at the battalion level through our surplus funds, which is basically the commander’s emergency relief fund.

    “The battalions are allocated a certain amount of money they can use for civil military operations related projects,” he said. “Basically, any project that we can perform that benefits the community.”

    With notes scribbled on pocket size pad of paper and a couple megabytes of digital images loaded onto his camera, the Dirty Deuce rolled out to their next stop.

    Power to the People

    When the wheels came to a halt once again, the Soldiers found themselves parked in the gated area of the Hurriya Kabil electrical substation, which provides power directly to the neighborhoods in their area of operation: Shula’s Al Katieb, Rhamanyia and Jawadine. With a jolly, big-bellied interpreter by his side, Gilotti discovered a serious obstacle between the people of the area and their electricity. Gilotti said that the substation is located right next to a busy route known for it’s improvised explosive devices. On June 13, one of their lines was damaged by crossfire that cut the plant’s capability in half, forcing people to rely on personal generators.

    When issues arose about two months ago, the unit sent out Soldiers to distribute neighborhood generators. The community responded with resounding contentment with the electrical situation, said Gilotti. He explained that the area is under a different type of influence.

    “JAM (Jaish Al Mahdi militia) does two things against the Americans. One, it will go against us in kinetic operations, EFP (explosively-formed projectile) attacks, RPG (rocket-propelled grenade) attacks, small arms fire attacks, and at the same time, they will target us in a negative information campaign,” the armor officer said. “They’ll campaign against us saying ‘The Americans won’t provide services for you. Americans don’t do anything to help the community out.’ So, they will get the locals to turn against us and they won’t give up information about the terrorists that operate in the area that conduct attacks on us.”

    It wasn’t until recently when the “Thunderhorse” Battalion started conducting more humanitarian projects that the locals realized that JAM wasn’t providing the services while the Americans were making attempts.

    “They started working with us, trying to give us as much information as possible so in turn we kept pushing to do more and more projects and start doing more assessments to see what else we could do for the community,” said Gilotti.

    Providing the Visibility

    Gilotti is the liaison between patrol reports and the next level of civil military operations.

    “I’ll turn it over to the civil military operations team for our brigade and they’ll bring out actual specialists who will look at the project, see where the loose ends are that need to be tied together and they will start working with [the] ministry of electricity and [the] government of Iraq to start (to) get the ball rolling,” he said. “I am a simple reporter,” Gilotti said, adding that he will continue reporting and pushing projects to his higher-ups. “Sometimes when you really do want to make a difference, you have to be a pain … you’ve got to keep pushing and pushing … and that’s what makes a difference.”

    Although the unit hasn’t seen the long-term effects because of the frequency of attacks in their area of operation, he said, they have seen the initial reaction of the people by taking an interest in their well-being. “In the time that the battalion is here, what we can do is provide a little bit of comfort to the community,” Gilotti said. “If locals can say, ‘While this unit was here they took an interest in our quality of life and made an effort to make a difference and we appreciate it,’ that is sometimes all we can ask for.”

    Photo – 1st Lt. Jonathan Gilotti, officer in charge of information operations with Company A, 2nd Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, out of Fort Bliss, Texas, gets information from employees of the Hurriya Kabil electrical substation in Baghdad’s Shula neighborhood Aug. 1. The Soldiers of 2-12th Cavalry operate in Baghdad’s northwestern neighborhoods as part of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division. Photo by Spc. Jeff Ledesma.

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    6 Aug 07
    by MC1 Mary Popejoy
    CJTF-HOA Public Affairs
    .

    Aircrft maintainers for Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-464 at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti, were able to see the fruits of their labor in the air July 29 when three of the four CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters were airborne at the same time.

    “The whole point of the mission was to thank the maintainers for all their hard work because without them, it would not have been possible,” said Marine Maj. Scott Wadle, HMH-464 operations officer. “We usually train as a section, which is only two aircraft, so for us to get three in the air at the same time is a great credit to their work ethic.”

    HMH-464, which includes more than 70 servicemembers, are poised 24/7 to launch two aircraft at one time to support such missions as personnel recovery, movement of passengers, cargo or gear and casualty evacuations. According to Gunnery Sgt. Justin Elmore, HMH-464 maintenance chief, the CH-53E is a very labor-intensive aircraft, accomplishing this feat in Djibouti is amazing since getting parts is a little harder than in the states.

    “It’s a pretty significant event because right now we’re averaging 34.1 maintenance hours per flight hour on an aircraft, so it’s pretty momentous to have three of our assets in the air at the same time,” he said.

    Getting three out of the four assigned aircraft in the air is a significant event in and of itself, but for the maintainers it wasn’t good enough. To get the fourth one mission-ready, the maintainers worked through the night to troubleshoot some discrepancies so they could launch the next day. Their efforts were successful and proved once again they are committed to their mission here.

    “It is [the] proof in the pudding that these guys will do whatever it takes to get the job done,” said Wadle. “They are never content until the aircraft is ready to go.”

    For Elmore, it’s a good feeling to be a part of a crew that is willing to go the extra mile to complete a task that isn’t always easy to fix. It doesn’t matter if they’re working 12 on 12 off shifts, or working 18 to 20 hours per day, the maintainers have so much pride in what they do and seeing aircraft launch is icing on the cake.

    “They are second to none,” he said. “Just working out in this heat on any given day is a high cost to them and they don’t complain about it ever. They are diligent in their efforts, they have great attention to detail and we appreciate everything they do because without them we wouldn’t be able to do our mission here.”

    Photo – Two Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron-464 CH-53E Super Stallion transport helicopters fly over Djibouti July 29 to celebrate the launching of three CH-53E’s. HMH-464 is poised 24/7 to launch two aircraft wherever needed to support the mission of Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Regina Brown.

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    24 July 07
    By Lance Cpl. Joseph D. Day
    2nd Marine Division (Forward)
    .

    RAMADI, Iraq — As the evening sun started to set, the Iraqi army geared up. After looking over each other’s equipment thoroughly, they prepared to step off.

    On July 21, the 1st Brigade, 7th Iraqi Army Division, led Marines on a foot patrol through the ghetto of Ramadi to identify local populace needs and how their basic utilities were working

    “This area of Ramadi used to be one of the most dangerous,” said one local citizen. “Every day there were bombs and insurgents fighting the coalition. Now, this area is so quiet that it may even be considered the best in the city.”

    One of the local residents claimed, “I believe that most of this is due to the Iraqi army patrolling this area constantly. Bad guys would walk these streets as if they owned them. Then the Iraqi army started patrolling here, and they haven’t been back since.” With a smile, the patrol and the citizens parted ways.

    The soldiers of the Iraqi army sniper platoon walk through each street carefully, moving from corner to corner, but taking the time to talk to the locals. Everywhere they walked the people came running up expressing their gratitude saying “hello” and “thank you.”

    When asked what the Iraqi army philosophy was when dealing with the people, Iraqi army Sgt. Maj. Abbas Abud Kadin, the senior enlisted man of the Iraqi Scout Sniper Platoon said, “I talked to them with my heart open. I will do anything for these people whether I share a joke, give them candy or just listen to their problems, I do it all with an open heart. I do it because if I help them, they will help me.”

    Walking up to a group of men sitting in the front lawn, Kadin extends his right hand to them and greets them. The rest of the soldiers take a knee and provide security as the group talks.

    The men also said the security in the area has improved drastically in the last two months. Whereas they used to be afraid to sit on their front lawn drinking tea, now they know that no one will bother them. The man said that he can enjoy his time out there with his friends and know that the only interruption they might have will be from friendly Iraqi army soldiers and policemen, stopping by to say “hello.”

    “I try to teach my men to respect the people here, because they could save our lives,” Kadin said. “If we show them respect they will show us respect and help us fight the insurgency.”

    Kadin found a 7.62mm shell casing on the way back to the base. A little curious about why it was in the street he asked some nearby residents.

    They told him the casing had come from a local who had a celebration the day prior.

    “My goal here is to help the good people of Ramadi rid themselves of the insurgency that plagues them. I want all of this country to be safe,” Kadin said. “If it starts here in Ramadi, then so be it. I know that my men and I are doing a very good job. I will terminate as many insurgents as I can, until there are no more to fight, then I will know we are done here. But we will move to the next city to do the same for them.”

    Photo – Iraqi Army Sgt. Maj. Abbas Abud Kadin, the senior enlisted man of the Iraqi Scout Sniper Platoon, hands out candy to some children during a patrol here. The patrol was trying to find out what the citizens of Ramadi needed to make their neighborhoods a better place to live. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Joseph D. Day.

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    I know many people think the only thing Marines, Army persons, Navy personnel, the National Guard, the Air Force crew and the such are only capable of killing. Trash things and kill people. That’s all there is to it, right? Hold on! Not so fast here. Here are two articles that could at least pierce your hearts, if only you would read them.

    The first article is aboout changing the lives of these destitute people, one mission at a time.

    BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan – The C-130 is one of many different types of aircraft stationed here, but could easily be called one of the most versatile.The members of the 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron put that versatility to the test every day. The three primary missions of the C-130s here are airdrop, air-land and aeromedical evacuation.

    “Our airdrop missions can be anything from dropping pamphlets to the locals to humanitarian drops such as water, blankets, food and firewood in the winter, ammunition and troop re-supplies,” said Senior Airman Patrick Keefe, 774th EAS loadmaster. “Air-land missions consist of troop movements or hauling cargo.” [Continue reading.]

    They are being modest. They also provide food to people who are so idolated that they cannot feed themselves. These people are just trying to stay alive after years and years of war.

    The next article is about the necessity of water and the huge impact dams and irrigation will have not only on their crops but also on their economy. Just take one paragraph:

    In a country held back by more than 30 years of war, ineffective water use has made life even more difficult in this already-barren country. Managing water is life or death for farmers like Haji Mazdigar Gul, 56, who explained that without a diversion dam, flooding often causes him to lose his fields, jeopardizing his family’s survival. His village of Koza Bokhana is one of 30 that will benefit from dams, which will redirect water from rivers to the fields of more than 80,000 farmers and families. [Continue reading.]

    This is a very good thing they are doing, and they are not doing it alone. The Afghan people are actually working side-by-side with them. They are all great and while we empower them, we also are helping ourselves here at home. Read and find out why. I am very proud of you guys and gals! 🙂

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    Thanks Mike

    I would like to give some credit to Micheal O. for bringing to my attention that the link in my Atlanta, GA story was not working. I have fixed it. Thank you.

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